Firefox Notes get a big update with multi-note support

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 22, 2018

Remember Firefox Notes? Mozilla launched Firefox Notes as a Test Pilot project back in mid 2016 along with the Voice Fill and Send experiments.

Firefox Notes added note taking capabilities to the Firefox web browser when installed.

Test Pilot projects are designed to give Mozilla important data on new features that might find their way into the Firefox web browser in the future.

Firefox users can install Test Pilot extensions to use the functionality but when they do, they accept that data about the experiment is submitted to Mozilla for evaluation.

Firefox Notes is not the first attempt at introducing note taking functionality in web browsers. Sticky Notes was a browser extension for Firefox which we reviewed in 2014 which is still available today, and Chrome users had access to another note taking extension called Sticky Notes since 2010.

Vivaldi supported note taking when it was released in 2016 and supports it up to this day.

Firefox Notes update

The initial functionality of Firefox Notes was limited; Firefox Notes supported a single note only which meant that you had to add all notes to a single document. Notes supported some formatting options but that was all that the initial version of Notes supported.

The Firefox Notes team improved the functionality significantly over time; the most recent version of Firefox Notes added the option to create multiple notes which was a much requested feature.

Just click on the menu icon after using Alt-Shift-W or Opt-Shift-W (Mac) to display the Notes sidebar, and select New Note from the menu that opens.

A click on the "back" button displays all available notes; click on a note to display its content in the interface.

You can edit any note and use supported formatting options such as bold, list views or headings as you see fit.

Another (relatively) new feature of Firefox Notes is the option to export a note as a HTML file. Click on menu and select "Export as HTML" to do so. Firefox asks you to select a folder on the local system to save the note to.

You may open the exported HTML file at any time in Firefox or any other browser as it is browser-independent.

Closing words

It is unclear whether Notes will make it into Firefox, or if Mozilla will end the experiment without launching a native notes taking feature. I think that Notes should at least match Vivaldi's note taking capabilities; this means search support to find text in notes among other things.

Now You: would you use note taking if it would be a native feature?

Related articles

Firefox Notes get a big update with multi-note support
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Firefox Notes get a big update with multi-note support
Mozilla improved the Firefox Notes Test Pilot experiment several times in recent months; new functionality includes multi-notes support and support for Notes exports.
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  1. Curtis K said on April 25, 2018 at 11:54 am

    GitHub page:; the mobile version.

  2. neal said on April 24, 2018 at 1:05 am

    I guess I am in the minority, I find most of the test pilot features useful even if I don’t use them often. I will use notes in Firefox too for browser specific information even though I also use desktop applications like notepad++. I am currently using Lastpass for notes, but lastpass UI is one of the worst designed UI I have used in a while.

  3. John said on April 23, 2018 at 10:36 pm

    LOL! Who cares about this stupid notes. This is just wasting time and resources for the thing that maybe only 2-5% Firefox users will use.

    1. Klaas Vaak said on April 24, 2018 at 12:37 pm

      Where do you get the % from? Your imagination?

      1. John Fenderson said on April 24, 2018 at 6:47 pm

        This is an add-on, so its presence is not objectionable, and John clearly just made up his percentages, but I’d be surprised if the usage rate were much higher than that. This covers a pretty niche use case, after all.

  4. some rando said on April 23, 2018 at 4:24 pm

    Just use MS OneNote, it’s free. And it’s got encrypted sections if you’re concerned with privacy.

    If you make many notes and it starts being slow with “syncing”, you can disable the integrated in-app sync with OneDrive and just put the local notebook files into OneDrive folder. This is a known workaround but it becomes instantaneous without any “load times” when switching between rarely opened notes and sections. Unfortunately the dev team doesn’t want to fix that so I found that solution coz I’m making several thousands of notes and at this point I’m tied to OneNote.

    1. Omega said on April 24, 2018 at 3:32 am

      If people didn’t trust Mozilla doing their own thing, they sure as hell won’t trust Microsoft OneStuff.

  5. cybernard said on April 23, 2018 at 2:44 pm

    If its not as good as evernote or onenote why bother?

    1. Remus said on April 23, 2018 at 3:43 pm

      For the same reason that it has been valuable to bother making Screenshots even though it’s not as good as Photoshop.

  6. Gyffes said on April 23, 2018 at 2:00 pm

    There are a plethora of note-taking apps and methods; my problem isn’t finding a new one, it’s winnowing down what I’m using to make keeping track easier (is it in Notes? Evernote? Dropbox? A different specific note-taking app? Was that a text file in Atom? GAH!).

    Also, after Google killed their notebook application, I decided not to fall victim to such whimsy again and it needs to be a program I either control or whose future seems moderately assured (Apple keeps improving Notes, I assume it’ll be with us for awhile).

  7. Klaas Vaak said on April 23, 2018 at 12:59 pm

    I use the QuickNote add-on with Waterfox. It supports up to 6 tabs. When you select text on a webpage, right click, then Send to QuickNote is 1 of the options.If you click on that option Waterfox switches to QuickNote to show you the the text has been copied to QN together with the URL of the page. Neat :-) QN does not support basic formatting.
    For my use case QN works fine, I prefer it to Opera’s V7 equivalent.

  8. notAUser said on April 23, 2018 at 10:33 am

    Mozilla… The company does some easy and useless projects. Any web developer can create that in few days.

    1. Remus said on April 23, 2018 at 4:18 pm

      Except it will be rubbish in the eyes of the large community of users. If you really were “not a user”, meaning a developer, you would know that.

  9. Database said on April 22, 2018 at 10:28 pm

    Thanks Martin it reminds me of the old Opera which had these notes on the sidebar.

    I’m still looking for a note taking app where I can use the same database on Windows and Android without internet sync
    Does anyone could mention one?

  10. Richard Allen said on April 22, 2018 at 10:12 pm

    I’ve always just kept it simple and used Notepad. I have 5 on my desktop right now that are used as a reference and are to some degree being changed. I save the txt files without an extension name but I have Notepad setup to automagically open those files. Just something I been used to doing.

    1. Remus said on April 23, 2018 at 3:42 pm

      I used text files too, it’s fuckin’ messy. There’s a lot of room for UX improvement as note taking is an integral part of my browsing activity.

  11. Stefan said on April 22, 2018 at 9:49 pm

    Why can’t a browser just be a browser ? All these “feautures” just slow down the browser. Let people add addons they need instead.

    1. jupe said on April 23, 2018 at 10:05 am

      It is an addon.

      1. Mikhoul said on April 24, 2018 at 1:54 am

        In other words let’s Mozilla focus on the browser core and NOT the addons…. 😉

        Mozilla have already limited resources (read money) so they should focus on their core product/functions not on side pet projects.

      2. Anonymous said on April 25, 2018 at 5:44 am

        They’re actually doing extremely well financially at the moment. And they can’t just invest all of that money into the core components, because good luck finding the personell that’s skilled enough to work on this.

  12. Valrobex said on April 22, 2018 at 9:40 pm

    Agree with Anonymous. It’s simple enough to open a text file, and I see no need to record a note in a web browser. I might change my mind should I start web browsing on my phone but I seldom do that.

  13. ShintoPlasm said on April 22, 2018 at 8:30 pm

    Another rubbish pet project for Mozilla to waste their time on.

    1. Remus said on April 23, 2018 at 3:39 pm

      Your rubbish pet project is my must have feature.

      1. Mozilla plans to disable said on April 26, 2018 at 3:25 pm

        Your must have feature that could be and was added with extensions before Firefox 57, and Mozilla’s pet project was to destroy it. Along with all the other must have features they destroyed with Fx 57.

      2. Remus said on January 28, 2019 at 4:00 pm

        On the other hand, there is now, since Notes became an add-on.

      3. Remus said on January 28, 2019 at 3:59 pm

        No, there was nothing worth it for me when it comes to Note taking before Firefox 57, and you’re off topic.

  14. Anonymous said on April 22, 2018 at 7:43 pm

    No thanks, instead I open and save new text files for that. At least I’m sure Mozilla won’t ever stick their nose into my private notes.

    1. Anonymous said on April 25, 2018 at 5:52 am

      Firefox Sync is end-to-end-encrypted and the client is open-source. So, while it would theoretically be possible for them to roll out a different client-binary than is described in the source code (with which they could then upload your notes) that would be a really bold move and I cannot imagine it going unnoticed.

    2. michal said on April 23, 2018 at 9:09 am

      Is there anything behind this speculation? I can’t find one example where Mozilla stick their nose to private user data. Telemetry – yes. Reading through user notes – no.

      I guess you don’t bother writing down a comment on a privately owned page like ghacks, that could log everything and sell you data? (I’m convined MB would not do that!).

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